The Hollywood Reporter’s list of its 10 best stories of the week:
‘AMERICAN IDOL’: 5 DRASTIC CHANGES TO SAVE THE SHOW
Axing theme nights, replacing judges and producers — all options are on the table as ratings keep sinking.
OBAMA AMBASSADOR INTRIGUE DEEPENS IN HOLLYWOOD
Sources say HBO’s James Costos and soap producer Colleen Bell are up for plum diplomatic posts (with Tennis Channel’s Ken Solomon in the wings).
JASON COLLINS: AGENTS ANALYZE ENDORSEMENT POTENTIAL
Neither the first openly gay pro sports figure nor agent Arn Tellem is talking, but experts say the market is there for book and speaking deals.
$40,000-A-NIGHT ESCORTS: SECRETS OF THE CANNES CALL GIRLS
A businessman — and Gadhafi associate — who was convicted in a 2007 prostitution ring bust reveals all the dirty secrets of how models (and even some Hollywood actresses) swarm the hotels and yacht parties during the fest; says one escort, it’s “the biggest payday of the year.”
SOFIA COPPOLA: THE TRIALS, TEARS AND TALENT
The Oscar-winning director is back on the Croisette with “The Bling Ring,” seven years after “Marie Antoinette” famously was booed. Now the one-time “it” girl is opening up at last about filmmaking, her father, her first marriage and the childhood tragedy that still haunts her.
CANNES: TODD MCCARTHY RECALLS ALTMAN AND BLIND DATE WITH MARGOT KIDDER
THR’s chief film critic recalls his first memories of the formerly wild fest beginning in 1970.
JERRY WEINTRAUB ON CANNES AND HIS LIBERACE BIOPIC (Q&A)
The legendary producer opens up about his reported $23 million budget from HBO, whether the flamboyant singer could be “out” today and what he thinks of awards: “The Academy hates it when I talk that way.”
LIBERACE AT HOME: HOW HBO RE-CREATED THE PIANIST’S GAUDY DIGS
Setting the scene for “Behind the Candelabra” required a lot of gold, sequins, “every naked David statue in Hollywood” and overhauling the already opulent house of Zsa Zsa Gabor.
EXCLUSIVE MEDIA CO-CHAIRS ON ‘JANE GOT A GUN’ WOES, RON HOWARD’S ‘RUSH’
Nigel Sinclair and Guy East, who run the production company that turned Harry Potter into a horror star, reveal details of Johnny Depp’s Whitey Bulger movie.
FAN BINGBING: THE CHIC LIFE OF A CANNES ‘IT’ GIRL
The actress and international fashion icon, with roles in “Iron Man 3″ and “X-Men,” is the gatekeeper to China’s luxury and film market.